Badass Blues Train from Bonny B

Bonny B, tearing it up

If you’re not from Cambodia or Switzerland, there’s a good chance that you haven’t heard the amazing harmonica playing of Bonny B. I hope you’ll love this 2 minute performance as much as I do. (Rich distorted tone - Joyful Sonny Terry-esque whooping - Killer train groove - what’s not to love? :grin:)

I teach this kind of train groove in my Beginner to Boss course, in Module 2 Lessons 12-14, and again in Module 5 Lesson 3.

But here’s one great takeaway from this train performance:

What creates excitemen t with the train groove? The acceleration! Right? As the train gets faster and faster, the excitement builds…

But notice that he doesn’t start speeding up until 1:10 into the 2:12 performance. This requires RESTRAINT. The first minute he’s playing he’s keeping the tempo consistent.

You might also note at 1:10 that he only accelerates for about 10 seconds, and then keeps the faster speed consistent from about 1:20 to about 1:40where he does his final acceleration to its climax around 1:47 before he starts slowing back down to bring the train into the station.

So whereas a beginner might start accelerating too fast out of the gate and then hit max speed 20 seconds into the performance, Bonny B shows performance mastery here by keeping the tempo constant for the first minute.

This doesn’t only apply to train grooves. For anything you do on the harmonica, this principle is golden:

RESTRAINT at the beginning sets the stage for CLIMAX later.

Music , like life, is all about tension and release . Thinking about this strategically will serve you well. It all comes down to developing the skill of RESTRAINT at the beginning.

Oh, by the way, Bonny B can play first position too, if you’re into that sorta thing. And if you like Gospel music, you might love this video.


Hello @Luke,
this is a cool version of a whistle blow train. Thanks for the idea!

I don’t know if you saw or heard my own version of a whistle blow train from two weeks ago here on the Forums?
That’s why I’m presenting them to you again here.
I had so much fun with your lesson back then. Playing them also worked somewhat. I wasn’t satisfied yet. Too much was still missing.

Have fun and best regards from Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:


What is about harmonica discussion that makes the mind wander? Offf…

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Hello @toogdog,
I dont understand what you mean?

EXCELLENT example of restraint - particularly love the last half-minute which is very effective. Thanks.
London, Canada


VERY GOOD ASTRID! :raised_hands:t3: So happy to hear you rocking and rolling down the track…

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Thank you very much for your words @Luke :pray:.
Thanks to you and your BTB, I have stayed true to learning and playing the harp. I will definitely keep at it and keep learning. A year that changed my life, another positive step!
It wasn’t always easy in the lessons, but patience and perseverance pays off. @Slim, I am just as grateful to you, with your speech and support in the background.
I’m so glad to have found you!